Diet First, part 1: Water

First of all, I'd like to pat myself on the shoulder in that I am keeping up to my self-imposed weekly posting schedule, and hope to maintain my diligence.

I've been learning so much that I would like to share here, and been inspired by health experts that are currently on the frontier of the health revolution. But all in good time, and in today's post I'd like to dive in and talk about the basis of health - you guessed it - food.

We eat to live, and what we put in our bodies is supposed to nourish and sustain our cells physically, and when our physical body is healthy, we can attain spiritual and emotional health, and express our differentiated cell functions at full capacity. This is why all talk of health must start with nutrition. Sleep and exercise is important, and certain supplements may be beneficial, but without proper diet, we won't achieve optimal wellbeing.

First of all, we should be hydrating our bodies throughout the day. It's a good practice to start the day with 1-2 glasses of water, preferably room temperature. I like to add some fresh squeezed lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to alkalinize the body and get the pancreatic juices flowing, which will help stimulate digestive enzymes. Following the same concept, such a drink is beneficial before meals during the day. Alkaline water, such as "Smart Water" or coconut water are also great hydrators as they contain electrolytes, but filtered or bottled water are the next best thing, as long as no sugar or artificial flavors are added (juice, soda, etc.). Average amount of water per day is about 6-8 glasses, as tolerated. Also, for each caffeinated beverage consumed, an equal amount of water must also be consumed to offset the diuretic effect of the caffeine.

Ideally, caffeine should be minimized to decrease the artificial stimulant boost to the body. Our bodies should be able to get enough energy from the water and food we intake, without other stimuli. Tea and coffee do have antioxidants and health benefits, but should still be consumed in moderation. A cup of "alkaline coffee," or green/oolong/black/white tea is okay and even beneficial once in a while. To increase the health benefit, avoid adding milk, sugar or any sweetener into your beverage, and drink it on its own, between meals. You can also transition away from caffeinated beverages by substituting them with herbal teas, yerba-mate, or chicory brews.